Put-In/Take-Out Etiquette?

When launching my boat I usually use the facilities of local campgrounds, state parks or shuttle services. Recently I have started to seek out new and “off the beaten path” paddlings spots. When leaving your vehicle behind at a “Non-official” put-in or take-out do you take any extra precautions or make special arrangements? I don’t want to be accused of trespassing or have my vehicle towed (or ticketed) but when there are no obvious property owners, structures or signs around, what do you do? Is it enough “good faith” to just park where you think you won’t interfere with others and leave a note on your dashboard explaining who you are, what you are doing and when you plan to return?

Check with a local paddle group
In my area it’s legal to park along any public right of way as long as the car is off the pavement and you aren’t in a signed no parking zone. Lot’s of landowners put up no trespassing signs but the public has a every right to access a navigable river at a bridge or low water crossing. Lakes are a different story. Lakeside property is always controled by somebody.

Watch those isolated parking spots
I lock everything of value in the console between the seats in my jeep as the top is usually off in the summer. I parked in front of a Subaru wagon this weekend, when I got to the takeout the Subaru was gone but his passenger window was laying on the ground in a million little safe-t-glass shards. When I have the top on I leave the doors unlocked, feel free to look around just don’t break a window for cripes sakes.

In many cases they are good, but I’d think twice about leaving enough information for someone to know how long they have to break into your car if the place is really isolated. You may want to leave it fuzzy re time frames.

Vehicles are not safe even in lots with
security. Ramp lots are notorious break-in areas, much better than shopping malls for getting away. Roadsides are worse, and under bridges you may as well put up a sign that says free for the taking. If they want it,they’ll get it no matter where or how you leave your car. As for locking stuff up, its better not to take it if it has value to you.

On the bright side, break-ins don’t happen as much as one might think. Leave nothing in sight that might tempt a thief. Put away anything that might be used to break a window…voice of experience. If you have a high theft vehicle, consider installing a kill switch or removing the battery cable from the post…stops quick hot wires.

As for where to park, if it aint marked and you ain’t blocking traffic, its probably ok, but never safe from accidents…some drivers are pulled toward cars parked on the roadside, especially drunks.

my favorite note…
Hey Jimmy, I brought extra 12 guage shells, i hope you didn’t bring that pansy 20 gauge this time… be back in 5 minutes. -Fred

Hmmm - -Never thought about it
Out here in the sticks, if you see a car parked along the side of the road near a bridge, it’s a given that someones most likely fishing. No big deal. As for the thievery issue - - I’ve never had a problem with that. Hec, I finnally graduated to '92 vehicles so if they are desperate, then they will take it. Locking a car door is a waste of time, so I usually don’t bother. Since I drive a diesel pickup, in the winter, you just let it idle while you run into the store for a couple items. Any more I rarely take the keys out of the ignition at work or at home.

Around here, ATV’s are a hot item. Harley’s are always a good chance. If you get a major lumber delivery dropped outside - good chance somebody wants it worse than you.

Canoes, Kayaks - - leave it out back and it will be there forever (that is unless the price of Aluminium goes way high - saw 6 grummans on the back of a scrappers truck earlier this summer)

get a green bin
and put your extra stuff and valuables in it, then hide it but good in the woods. i always travel with too much extra stuff in my car, and my paddling bag, so i’ve started to do this so i don’t have stuff lying around in there. still i always wonder when i come back to my car if it will be trashed. happens a lot around Vancouver Island rivers.

Kayak Cove in Windsor
A nice young couple approached us as we were unloading and they seemed to be somewhat curious about local paddling. We shared a little too much info apparently. As my date (paddling The Glass Slipper)turned to wave to the couple, only the girl was watching as we paddled off. The guy was busy breaking the small window of my buddies Jeep. Took everything.

Lesson learned, leave nothing worth
taking. In my case, I lost a new fly rod and reel I’d never used and my grandson’s car seat…real lowlife out there. Now, those things stay at home if I’m not going to use them. As for locking or not locking the doors, nice thieves check first, but many just break and grab.

A gentleman in NYC used to leave a sign in his windshield saying, “No Radio.” One day he returned to find his window smashed nonetheless, and a note pencilled beneath his saying, “Get one!”


My pet peeve
I paddle a lot at a couple local bodies of water. The put in to one is a 1/4 mile plus ride down a terrible two track, you don’t need 4 wheel drive but it helps. The parking area is a clearing in the woods. I can not tell you how many times I have arrived to find someone parked in the middle of the entrance to the clearing or smack dab in the middle of the boat launch. At the other area the road runs next to the pond for about 100 yards before dead ending. Again people parked in the launch area or on both sides of the road up as close to the lauch area as they can get, leaving no room for others to get thru. Jeeze no wonder there are yellow lines in parking lots.

11 posts and no thread degeneration…I’m impressed!

But only one on etiquette. Of course,
while in the title, it wasn’t really a part of the body.

The "etiquette"
was really more of a question of what you would consider common courtesy and what you would like to see others do. It sounds like there are all kinds out there…good and bad. Thanks for the responses so far…I look forward to more.

"Please Don’t Steal"
When I visited NYC, I saw several signs in windows of “No Radio” but also a couple with the added “Please Don’t Steal.” I guess anyone slimy enough to steal a car and/or a radio would be greatly impressed by the added “Please” and move right along to someone else.

You could always make it “look” like…

– Last Updated: Sep-21-06 3:55 PM EST –

...you'll be right back. Keep your vehicle idling.

But seriously, you could have a bomb planted under the seat and when they mouse around down there looking for your wallet, it blows them and the car to smithereens.

First shotguns and now bombs…you folks aren’t fooling around, are you? The only thing that hasn’t been mentioned is one of those car alarm/tazer combinations that electrocutes car thieves.